Homeschooling on the Homestead
 I’ll likely never feel like we have homeschooling all figured out. People sometimes ask me for advice, or what we do, or how we make it work…well, I’m always intimidated by these questions. Someday, when everyone has grown and I no longer feel responsible for what my kids know, maybe then I’ll feel qualified to impart ‘wisdom’ on this topic.
raising chickens with kids

As it goes right now, we are most likely ‘unschoolers’ if labeling came into play. On occasion we have a spare minute to sit and learn, but generally we’re moving around too much. Sure, we try to make the most of ‘learning’ opportunities, but sometimes I irritate myself with the ‘why’s’ and the ‘did you notice’s’.  Honestly, I’m in a spiral of letting go when it comes to schooling.

Perhaps Naomi is to blame, she has taught me a little boat loads about how learning doesn’t have to look like what I think it should–as free-spirited as I like to think I am. And then there’s Leviah, who will likely teach herself to read one afternoon in the hammock.

So, between chopping down trees, feeding chickens, adopting new livestock, training puppies, hiking, removing ticks, collecting tadpoles, catching lizards, building birdhouses, identifying wild herbs, gathering dandelions, planting trees, potty training sister, visiting new cousins, swinging, cleaning creek beds, dancing, gathering eggs, reading stories, occasionally fighting, feeding worms, emptying the dishwasher and sometimes remembering laundry we’re often lucky to fit in dinner. As to homeschooling…well these days it’s more of an all-hands-on-deck style of learning. We review our multiplication chart from time to time, throw in some phonics…that’s about it.

(this girl is 2 today and needs no schooling in the art of devouring strawberries)

Not everyone is sailing along in the same ‘homesteading’ boat as we are, maybe because you’re not called to it, or it’s on the horizon, now that we’re here on this plot it’s obvious; more important for our family than the homeschool room (which don’t get me wrong, I envy the notion) is the outside space, I know because the more time my children spend outside the more settled and content they come to be. Surely, as the NC summer heats up to unbearably hot we’ll likely retreat and return to more regularly structured ‘learning’ time, but this spring, though at times overwhelming, has proven just how much being ‘country folk’ suits us. These kids are learning and interacting with the world around them so intimately–it’s impossible to think that strapping them to a desk for any set time would benefit them more. 

2 Comments

  • Kim Posted May 23, 2013 10:00 pm

    Absolutely how my kids are. They are only 3 and 2 but they have already shown my husband and I that they learn more and better being free to learn and outside with nature. This encourages me to keep doing exactly what we are doing.

  • Crystal Garvin Posted June 27, 2013 11:46 pm

    Well, I loved this. And since I am stuck "in town" where my kids don't always get as connected with creation as often as I would like, I will have to be purposeful. And you will remind me. 😉 So we will live vicariously through you at times, visit your farm as often as we can, and remember that workbooks and checklists don't equal the education I want my children to have or the values I want them to have. Thank you!

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